Wedding Day Memories at the Colonnade!
Do you celebrate your wedding anniversary every year?
by Successful Aging in Action! | 9.9.19
There are few memories more precious than those of your wedding. Photos, videos and keepsakes like wedding dresses help remind us of that precious moment in time.
To honor and remember those moments, The Colonnade held its first ever Wedding Day Celebration for residents on June 26.
Inspiration for the event came to The Colonnade Life Enrichment Director Paula Sikes several months ago after she talked to a resident who had recently organized her closet and came across her wedding dress; one she wore 60 years ago.
“I thought it would be great to plan a big wedding reception to celebrate all the wedding anniversaries,” says Paula. “The event would include everyone, either married or widowed – no matter what month they were married.”
Residents celebrated their special days with music, dancing, a champagne toast and of course, cake! To make the party even more special, 55 residents shared photos of their wedding day and 10 ladies displayed their wedding dresses.
Two of those women were Toni Jaskowick, a resident since May 2016, and Catherine Hockstad, a resident since March 2016.
Toni and her husband Dick met while attending Kent State University in Ohio, where she majored in journalism and he in business. After finishing their junior year, Dick celebrated his birthday in June by presenting Toni with an engagement ring. They were married two months later on Aug. 26, 1961.
“We had a nice, traditional wedding in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Warren, Ohio with attendants, flowers, photographer, a luncheon for the wedding party and out- of-town guests and a larger formal evening reception,” says Toni. “I believe the entire wedding cost less than $1,500.”
Her dress was a short-sleeved, tiered white eyelet in a southern belle style. She wore elbow-length gloves; the same gloves her mother wore for her wedding in 1932.
Although Toni’s beloved uncle passed away several months prior to the wedding in a trucking accident, he still found a way to make his presence known. “My uncle, who was a driver with Rodeway, had the reputation for doing silly things at family weddings and promised me that he was saving the best for me,” says Toni. “As Dick and I stood outside the church greeting guests after the ceremony, a Rodeway truck stopped on the street behind us,” Toni recalls. “The driver then leaned over, rolled down his window and yelled ‘congratulations!’"
Catherine Hokstad also displayed the wedding dress she wore 61 years ago. She and her husband Ray were married on June 21 in the Mayflower Congregational Church in Detroit, prior to his senior yearof college. Ray was studying to be a family practice physician, and Catherine had a degree in education/special education.
Catherine and her mother picked out her dress at Hudson’s department store. It was a short-sleeved dress with a full skirt and crinoline underneath. She wore gloves up to the elbow and had a crown with a net for her veil.
They had 7:30 p.m. ceremony with a reception following in the church. Immediately after the reception the couple drove as far as Flint, Mich. where they had a room reserved in a new hotel, with a bottle of celebratory champagne.
The honeymoon was memorable for another reason as well. “My mother-in-law called us on our honeymoon night, saying she had locked her keys in her car, and she needed Ray’s help in getting an extra set of keys,” says Catherine. “We were awakened again by her at 6:30 the next morning, telling us she had found her keys after all. I never let her forget that!”
Many similar reflections and memories were shared and enjoyed by the 125 residents who attended the special celebration. “The wedding dresses, the stories and wedding cake with champagne toast were wonderful,” says Marietta Bittrich Johns. Vicki Dillon agrees. “Seeing the wedding dresses and all the wedding photos brought tears to my eyes,” she says. “I felt so much love surrounding me.”
Originally printed in the Sun City Grand, August 2019 issue.
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